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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

8/8/2017: Consolidation Vote At 50; FCC Book Club 'A Gentleman In Moscow'; Apps For School


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we commemorated the 50th anniversary of Duval County voters’ approving consolidation with former Mayor Alvin Brown’s chief of staff and co-author of “America: The Owner’s Manual: You Can Fight City Hall and Win,” Chris Hand (01:26). This month’s “First Coast Connect” Book Club with blogger Stacey Goldring featured “A Gentleman in Moscow.” (35:39) And tech guru Ray Hollister told us about some of the latest apps students can use as they go back to school (47:13).   

Consolidation Vote at 50

On Aug. 8, 1967, Duval County residents voted to consolidate county and city governments into the single city of Jacksonville. That vote created what is now the largest city by area in the contiguous U.S. and the 12th largest by population. The voters chose consolidation by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. At the time, Duval County was plagued by government corruption, fiscal instability and disaccredited schools. The landmark consolidation has been praised and used as a model for other city-county consolidation efforts around the country. But critics have long said consolidation had negative effects too. In particular, it’s often blamed for producing “two cities,” leaving poor and African-American neighborhoods behind.

Book Club: ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’

The New York Times bestseller “A Gentleman in Moscow” written by Amor Towles transports readers to the Metropol, the famed Moscow hotel that attracted movie stars, Russian royalty and Bolsheviks plotting revolution. The novel highlights some of the fascinating history of the country.      

Apps for School

Most Northeast Florida students head back to school this week or next. It's a great time to get kids tech ready for class. This can include clearing off games and files that were downloaded over the summer, making sure virus software is updated, and operating system, software and security updates are installed. Just a little bit of preparation can make for a much smoother school year. There are also several new apps to consider downloading to help students with their homework.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.